Traditional Owners from around the country met in Alice Springs recently to partake in AWAKEN: Talking Country — a forum to discuss matters of great concern regarding what’s happening on traditional lands throughout Australia. This was at the heart of the words of all who spoke.
We talked about the removal of people from country against the will of the original custodians of the land and the total lack of understanding of, or care about, connection to country that is constantly demonstrated by governments — national, state and territory.
Everything that they are doing is against our will. True consultation and negotiation simply does not take place. It flies in the face of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in this instance, Article 10, with regard to Indigenous peoples not being forcibly removed from their lands.
And in a cowardly act to ensure that people leave their communities, which have been their traditional homelands for thousands of years, the government removes essential services; this started in Oombulgurri, where houses were bulldozed with possessions still in them.
Whether there is real lack of understanding, or whether it’s just a pretence on the part of those who wish to take our lands, the result is dispossession that will lead to cultural genocide.
Watch the full episode of AWAKEN: Talking Country
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